New Delhi: Former England skipper Alastair Cook has announced his decision to retire from international cricket at the end of the ongoing Test series against India.
“After much thought and deliberation over the last few months I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India,” Cook said in a statement released on the England Cricket Board’s (ECB) official website.
The 33-year-old Essex left-hander is England’s all-time leading Test runscorer with 12,254 runs at 44.88 including 32 hundreds, while his run of 158 consecutive Test appearances is a world record.
But Cook, who has played in 160 Tests in total, has struggled for runs recently and averages a meagre 18.92 from nine Tests this year.
I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game.
“The thought of not sharing the dressing room, again, with some of my teammates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right.”
England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in their five-match series against India with a 60-run win in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.
The England selectors have yet to announce their squad for the fifth Test at The Oval, which starts on Friday.
But it would be a major surprise if Cook was not allowed one last Test appearance prior to his international retirement.
Cook will however continue to play county cricket, adding in his statement that he is looking forward to playing a full season with the Essex County Club.
“I would also like to thank Essex County Cricket Club for their help and support ever since I was 12, and I can’t wait to get fully involved with them in the 2019 season.
“I wish the England team every success in the future, and I will be watching with great excitement.”
Alastair Cook’s Test career:
- Age: 33
- Tests: 160
- Runs: 12,254
- Average: 44.88
- 50s: 56
- 100s: 32
- HS: 294